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Home > Copyright Law > International Copyright Law > Key Treaties

Key Treaties

The US is a member of all of the following treaties. This means that US law follows the requirements of the treaty. With respect to any individual judicial proceeding, the local law of the jurisdiction will probably be applied, since that jurisdiction's statutes are presumably in compliance with the treaties� requirements. The diagram of treaties and relationships illustrates the connection between the treaties, including Berne, NAFTA, GATT, WIPO, TRIPS.

Berne Convention
The Berne Convention of 1971 is the main copyright treaty designed to protect literary and artistic works. Its provisions are largely the same as those found under US copyright law.

WIPO Copyright Treaty
This treaty, according to its own terms under Article 1, is considered a �special agreement� under Berne. It provides additional protection for:

  • Computer programs
  • Databases

WIPO alters the rights of distribution under Article 6 and WIPO adds the right to control rentals of computer programs, cinematographic works, and phonograms under Article 7.

Finally, WIPO makes similar restrictions to those in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which generally restricts parties from circumventing digital copyright protections under Article 11 and prevents removal or alteration of copyright management under Article 12.

WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty

TRIPS was designed to create uniformity in the protection of intellectual property.

TRIPS attempts to ensure that no member country provides better protection to its own nationals than to foreigners seeking protection within the state (Article 3). Further, any protection granted to the nationals of another state must be granted to all foreign nationals (Article 4).

TRIPS also ensures the protection of the WIPO treaty apply to all TRIPS states, such as those protecting computer software and databases.

TRIPS also discusses the protection of, trademarks, geographic designations, industrial designs, patents, circuitry, trade secrets, and antitrust issues, discussing enforcement of all it�s provisions as well.

Paris Convention
The Paris Convention provides uniform protection for patents, trademarks, and unfair competition claims.


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